As Dave Ryding builds up to the next round of the World Cup, these are exciting times for British Slalom racing. Ryding is currently sitting in thirteenth spot in the World Cup standings and with the amount of World Cup points that Ryding has amassed means that Britain has another spot on the World Cup. In the lead up to the Kitzbuehel Slalom, Tristan Glasse Davies spoke with Racer Ready about how the work that Ryding has done is helping the next generation of racers on the British Team.
“It has been a good week, a hard week,: Glasse Davies explained after the team captains meeting in Kitzbuehel. “We have done some hard training but that is what he needs to get ready for this race. Dave is really excited about the weekend and Kitzbuehel then Schladming. He is still in the top fifteen, if we can come away with two top fifteen results then we will see what happens.”
Last year Ryding was leading the race when he made his only failure to finish on the World Cup last year. At the last split before he crashed out, Ryding had the fastest time, including race winner Henrik Kristoffersen. The not finishing at Kitzbuehel is something that he wants to rid from his record.
With each result that Ryding makes, he is edging further into the top fifteen, he currently sits in thirteenth. As he amasses points, others are dropping them. “There is still a big jump to get to the top seven though,” Glasse Davies explains. “If we can keep chipping away, we will keep going up.”
The future of the slalom skiing is looking bright Glasse Davies feels. Asked who he felt would fill the second spot that Britain has and he replied that he could see Laurie Taylor taking it in the next two, three years. “He is a very good skier, if he keeps going, keeps progressing, keeps training, I do not see why he could not do it. I would feel happy with starting him now. He needs to be more exposed to different training.”
Would Glasse Davies start Taylor at the World Champs or a race before then? “If he had qualified” then Glasse Davies sees no reason why he could not go.
Glasse Davies has great respect for the way the British Ski Academy product skis, “he has a very high ceiling on his potential. Someone like Dave had a relatively low potential ceiling and he has worked really hard to get into the position he is now. Laurie does not have a lot of the issues that Dave had so maybe he can progress faster than Dave. Dave also has a lot of assets that are hard to ascertain: his ability to read courses and know the limits. Everything that he learnt from dry slope and from being on the FIS circuit and the Europa Cup circuit about how the points system works.”
All these things have helped to develop and build Ryding into the racer that he is now, Glass Davies believes. Small steps have developed Ryding from a racer from outside the top 100 racers into a top fifteen racer. Ryding has not been spooked by the new situations that he has encountered on his journey.
Racers are continually learning and Ryding is still discussing things with Alain Baxter. Ryding idolises what Baxter did and how he handled himself, Glasse Davies explained. “He learnt a lot from Alain.”
Ryding is, Glasse Davies agrees, helping the other British racers that are following in his wake. Having a coach and a serviceman all help to protect Ryding. “There are certain things that we have done that have made a big difference,” Glasse Davies believes. “The mentality to train, to learn, to bring about a change over the summer is the biggest factor and it is not short term commitment, it is long term commitment, it is long term mindset to getting better.”
Glasse Davies hoped for a start number nearer the end of the 8 to 15 group but Ryding will go bib 8 for the Kitzbuehel Slalom.